Report: Pittsburgh shortlisted for potential 2024 Republican National Convention sites


Could Pittsburgh potentially host the next Republican National Convention?

The city is on the national GOP committee’s shortlist for 2024, according to a Politico.com report, along with Milwaukee, Nashville and Salt Lake City.

“We always welcome commerce to the city of Pittsburgh, whether it’s filling our hotel rooms or eating in our restaurants,” said Councilor Anthony Coghill.

City Council President Theresa Kail-Smith said Pittsburgh businesses “would be happy to entertain and enjoy whoever comes to the city.”

The Politico article cited an anonymous source who he said is close to the selection process.

Christine Toretti, a member of the Pennsylvania national committee for the RNC, said she had not spoken with the site’s selection committee, but believed Pittsburgh would be a great host city.

“This would put the city on the global market for over a week, presenting a tremendous opportunity to promote our region as the best place to live and work,” said Toretti.

Allegheny County and Pennsylvania Republican Party officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The city has never hosted a national political convention, and the last time Pennsylvania hosted a national political convention was the 2000 Republican Convention in Philadelphia.

“Something like a Republican national convention would need over 16,000 rooms,” said Jerad Bachar, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh.com. “But we could definitely handle it.”

Allegheny County has just over 18,300 hotel rooms, according to Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research.

Coghill and Kail-Smith said available hotel space could be a concern from a logistical standpoint.

“I sit on the Sports & Exhibition Authority board that books the convention center, and that always seems to be a problem, whether we’re trying to attract a Super Bowl or some other big event,” Coghill said. “I imagine that would be the thing that could keep us from getting it.”

“I think that’s definitely a concern,” Kail-Smith said. “I don’t know the extent of what (a national convention) would entail. Those who go to special events, our director of public safety and those folks should ask questions to see if the city could host something like this. “

Toretti said the selection of the RNC site would not have put Pittsburgh on its shortlist if it had not been able to host the convention.

Bashar said he believed it could be done.

“There would be a lot of logistics to sort out, as well as things like transportation, coordination with the airport, the port authority, our community of restaurants and hotels, the (Sports & Exhibition Authority) – that would really be a community effort, “he said.

Kail-Smith chose to examine the economic benefits of the potential challenge.

“I think this could be a good opportunity for our businesses which have been struggling for two years,” she said.

Patrick Varine is an editor at Tribune-Review. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .



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